Mar 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Joel!

My youngest turns 16 today.
Happy Birthday Joel!

He has had a busy couple of weeks not including his birthday.
Here is a sampling of his activities.

The picture at the top is Joel and his team mates upsetting the number 2 ranked team to make it to the state finals.Joel being introduced in the state championship game. #21
Setting a pick.They ended regulation game play in a tie but lost in over time.
Here they watch the other team get the state trophy.

Next it was fine arts state competition.
Joel did the string solo competition. He played "Canon in D".

He placed third.

He sang in a small group.

He is checking placement and start times with a friend.

Singing in a Choral group.

Played the euphonium in the small band ensemble.
They will be competing in the National competition with this group.

Sang in the large coral group.

He also competed in the arts and got two second places.
One for color photography and one for print making.

Mar 17, 2010

Happy Birthyday Mom

I know I am a day early on all of the birthday posts but I figure I better do them while I am thinking about them verses forgetting them and doing them three days late.

Mom celebrates her birthday tomorrow.
She is still in El Salvador right now.

In the above slide she is celebrating her 30th birthday and the year was 1978.
That is her Mother sitting next to her, my Grandma White.

I think my Aunt Carol made this very special cake for her.
It is a classic "Over the Hill" cake but with a twist.

It was made completely of foam.
Mom tried and tried to cut the cake but could not.
The cake would mash down and then it would spring back up.

"Come on old lady!" "Are you to old to even cut a cake?" were remarks that could be heard from shouted from loving family members.

I thought it was great.
I also thought this was one of my Aunts best cakes, pure icing!
All us kids licked it clean that afternoon.

Here is Mom on her first birthday.
She has the lamb cake that our family traditionally has to celebrate the first year of life.


Follow up

Chad's birthday is today and he and his wife, Cathy, stopped by to say hello.


Mar 16, 2010

Birthday Month

In our family there are quite a few birthdays this month.

Chad's birthday is tomorrow. So happy Birthday Chad.
But lets go back to 1978 and see what my Dad saw then.

Dana, Kurt and David are over for Chad's birthday party.
Brett and I snarfing some pizza and trying to see what presents Chad got.

The first thing I spot is a Luke Skywalker action figure.
Here he is in all his preopened glory.
The coolest thing with this figure was the light saber.
It would slide out of his arm, ready for battle.
It didn't stay straight long though. Battles with Darth Vader or whoever else was nearby saw to that.

I also see the bottom half of some other packaging on the table.
There is another slide that reveals what this toy was so we will wait.

Same paryt but from a different angle.

I see me reaching for the toys. Kurt to my right and Dana to my left.
I don't know who the kid is right next to Chad.

Lets see what I am after.

A model truck with a Hulk decal on the side.
Chad did a great impression of the Hulk back then.
He had some short pants and would run into the room and growl.
He then would bend over, flex his muscles and then tear his shirt off and throw it across the room.
He would flex and growl again and then run off in slow motion.
It was perfect.

Looks like a 45 rpm record of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is laying on the table under the Hulk truck.

There is an alien next to these toys.
This is what was in the other packaging that we saw in the other slide.
It was a "Creatures From Other Worlds" character.
These were Mego knock offs that were out in the market to capitalize on the "Star Wars" craze.
Here is one still in its packaging. There is an article on them HERE too.

I was trying to read Chad's button, which probably said "Kiss me I am a Leprechaun" or something, when I noticed the Grape Ape wrapping paper.

Here is the intro to the Grape Ape show for those of you who never saw it and for the rest of us to remember it.

More of the "Creatures From Other Worlds" packaging.

I also see that we had some original Pepsi Throwback sitting in the corner.
If you haven't tried Pepsi Throwback you need to, if you can find it now.
I thought the idea was to sell stuff? If something sells out replace it. Stupid limited time release stuff.
It truly was a time machine in a bottle. One taste and it was the seventies again.

I also see Mom's apple head guy on the shelf.

Mentioned before HERE. Same party but a different picture.

I also spotted a stained glass raccoon that was hanging in the window.
This stained glass was based off my Mothers styling of a raccoon that she painted often.
HERE and HERE are examples of her work.
She must have traded something with an artist friend for it.

Mar 10, 2010


What is that?

It is called Fulgurite. Rock Fulgurite in fact.

We found it in May 4, 2002. My youngest son’s motorcycle foot peg hit the ground, exposing as he described this “really weird rock” in the woods beside our house.

Unable to identify what we had stumbled on, we took some of it to Dr. Nelson Shaffer, head of Indiana University Geological Survey, who confirmed that it was ROCK FULGURITE, a rarely occurring phenomenom.

This is what it looked like on the surface.
The hole at the top of the photo is where Joel's foot peg broke open the ground.
We could stick our finger inside and feel a glassy surface.

The dig site.
We used very specialized tools to remove the rock .
Tools like screwdrivers and an can of air.

After careful evaluation, Dr. Swopes, Indiana University-Purdue University, also comfirmed it as ROCK FULGURITE.

A fulgurite is where the lightning strikes the ground and turns it into glass.
It is normally found on beaches.
Lightning strikes the sand and fuses the sand into little glass tubes like straws.
When the tides go out, beach combers can find them sticking up in the sand.

Rock fulgurite is the same thing but not on the beach.
We were told that the dirt had to be just right.
Dry and have a lot of sand in it.

The conditions must have been right at our house.
We live on a hill and have very little top soil before you get to our hills rocky base.

We thought it was magma or something.
"Oh no! We live on a volcano!" Is what we were thinking at first.

Thankfully that wasn't it at all.
The outside of it is like cinders that make up cinder blocks.
The inside is green glass.
If you look at it very closely you can see thousands of bubbles in the glass.
It looks like you froze the top of a Coke after just pouring it.

There was a movie that came out after we found this in our yard.
The movie was called "Sweet Home Alabama".
It had a guy driving metal rods in the ground to create these beautiful fulgurites.
The one in the movie was so fake and beautiful.
It wasn't covered in sand or cinders.
The beauty in these is on the inside and it's edges.

You have to see it to really appreciate it.

Starting to uncover it.
It is like the lightening froze in the Earth.

In a May 17, 2002, e-mail Dr. Vladimir Rakov, University of Florida, Gainsville, said after viewing the photos that it was a “rather unusual” and “very interesting find”.

Several pieces of our ROCK FULGURITE collection can be found at

The Indiana University, Geological Survey,
Indiana University-Purdue University, Geological Survey,
University of Indianapolis and
the Indiana State Museum.

Which called me today (State Museum) and said that they were placing our rock in an exhibit at the Museum.


I will keep you updated on it.

If you would like to own a piece of this rock just contact me in the comments section for now.

Here is a site my brother in law set up to preserve a record of our find. HERE
Be sure to click the gallery button at the bottom.

Mom in El Salvador

My Mom and my Aunt Carol are in El Salvador for the next couple of weeks.

They are there on a missions trip.

So if you would like to follow along on their trip go to their blog for daily updates.

El Salvador

Mar 4, 2010

More on the House

Framing of the house continues.
If you look close you can spot some monkeys in the second story window.

This room would become Brett and I's room when the house was finished.
Brett broke this window one time too.
We were playing wiffle ball in the front yard.
We grew tiered of that game and started playing another favorite game of ours.
I would go behind the house and Brett would stay in the front of the house.
We would then throw footballs, baseballs, kick balls, Frisbees and in this case hit a wiffle ball over the house.
The guy on the opposing side of the house had to try to catch whatever the projectile was before it hit the ground.
This is harder than it sounds.
You had to be close enough to the house to catch the ball which also meant you couldn't see the ball until it was already coming down at you.
This was a great reaction building game.
The only bummer was if you made a spectacular catch no one else saw it.
Great game.
We would play this game until...
1. It was time to eat
2. It got dark
3. The ball got stuck on the roof
4. The ball got stuck in a gutter
5. Dad heard us hit the house
or as it happened in this case
6. You broke a window

I am glad it was Brett and not me.

Someone is in the front yard with a dog.
Let's zoom in.

Looks like Chad to me.
I don't think this dog is ours though.

Little house on the tender box.

One spark and the whole house might go.

Looks like we were in the middle of a drought.
These slides are dated as April and it should have been greener than this then.

Work crews hard at it.

The driveway doesn't even go all the way to the house.

The workers look like they are installing the window in the garage which is now a living room.

When I zoomed in I could see we were playing the "Don't fall in the deadly porch hole" game I mentioned HERE.

This was taken form the giant Ash tree near the back of the property.
I can see the Buckeye tree to the left.
The property sure has changed since these pictures.

Mar 2, 2010


Mom inspected the framing of our house in the last update on the building of our house Here.

She saw a few things she didn't like and had them tear it down to the foundation and start over.

Here she is micro managing their ever move of the construction this time.

Or I found this slide after I posted the other pictures.
You decide.